Puedes leer este artículo en español, aquí.
As some of my readers may already know, I lived in Atlanta, Georgia for almost 10 years, before moving to Miami this past February. I don’t know the reason why, but in Atlanta I felt right at home from day one. And although I saw it change quite a bit throughout my time there, I still love it very much and I also miss it now and then. I had started writing this post when I was still living there and, since I was feeling a bit nostalgic in recent days, I just couldn’t procrastinate any more…I had to finish it so I could share it with y’all. These are 5 places in the A that I really enjoy, in no particular order.
1. OAKLAND CEMETERY I visited this historic site for the first time back in 2010, when I did a bike tour with a friend that was in town from Mexico and I thought it was just magical! This is where Margaret Mitchell (the author of Gone with the Wind) is buried, among other personalities from Georgia's history. It is great for a walk and it's so photogenic that it's not uncommon to run into couples taking their engagement photos (yeah, that is a thing these days). It is also the home of Sunday in the Park, a festival celebrating fall's arrival that features food trucks and live entertainment for the entire family, and the iconic Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween Tours, which bring to life the stories of some of the cemetery’s noted residents after dark (buy your tickets early, it always sells out).
2. SKYLOUNGE The perfect spot to get drinks after work or if you're visiting Atlanta on business or for pleasure! This is the Glenn Hotel's rooftop bar, centrally located in the heart of the so called Centennial Park District. Come here to enjoy the magnificent view of the park, some of the town's most iconic attractions (including CNN’s studios and the not-so-new-anymore ferris wheel), plus the skyline. Bonus: it is never crowded...it's almost as not that many people know about it!
3. LULLWATER PARK Right by Emory University, this small park provides the ideal setting for a peaceful afternoon walk, surrounded by nature, without having to go OTP (outside the perimeter, for those who don’t know what this stands for). Don’t be surprised if you have a close encounter with a family of deer while there, as it’s happened to me more than once. This park is especially pleasant on weekends or if you prefer to stay away from other local parks that tend to attract a lot more people, such as Piedmont Park (which I also used to hit once in a while, when I was feeling more social).
4. BUFORD HIGHWAY I was asked one time by a fellow Peruvian if I missed Peruvian cuisine. My answer? How would I if there’s so much to choose from in Atlanta! Of course, that’s why one of my favorite places is Buford Highway, where you can find the best food from all over the world! Yes, Buford Highway is a long corridor that features a huge variety of delicious specialties: from Mexican tacos and Salvadorean pupusas to Vietnamese Pho and Korean BBQ to Chinese Dim Sum…and all at inexpensive prices. Can’t beat that!
5. DOWNTOWN DECATUR Technically not a part of Atlanta, Downtown Decatur was among my favorite spots since I discovered it shortly after moving to town back in 2009. A handful of restaurants and shops make it a great location for an evening stroll. You can enjoy dinner or drinks at one of its restaurants and bars (I love Leon's Full Service). The square adjacent to the courthouse is especially appealing during summer, if you enjoy people watching while having a popsicle from King of Pops or Steel City Pops…or an ice cream from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams or Butter & Cream.
I don’t have a trip scheduled to Atlanta anytime soon, but I certainly hope it does happen in the near future so I can visit all these places and my friends. As any other ATLien, I’ll always be ready to go back to “the city too busy to hate”! Who knows, maybe one day I’ll call it home again…